Parenting is hard. There is no two ways about it. Being a parent is the toughest, most heart breaking thing you will ever do. It is also the most rewarding and the one thing you would not change in the world. Below are a collection of good parenting skills that are worth learning, and developing. They will benefit your children forever.
Good parenting skills are not something you are born with. They take time to learn, grow and develop. AND we all get it wrong. A LOT. You are not failing as long as you are seriously trying to be a good parent, and you love them to pieces. But there are some skills we can learn that will make us better parents, and will make parenting easier on us all.
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Here are some good parenting tips are from parents that have been there and done that, there are some real pearls of wisdom here!
Good Parenting Skills that are worth Developing
Laurie : Teach them how to be flexible and deal with the unexpected!
Linda: Role model how to deal with rejection and disappointment.
Issa: Learn to be happy and at peace.
Show your children what it is to just sit and enjoy the surroundings. Go to the beach and leave your phone at home. Join them on the swings at the park, remember how good it is to run and laugh.
Keating : Open communication is so important for all families. I remember growing up feeling like I’d get in trouble or something if I expressed a concern to my parents or it would start an argument if I had a different opinion. We’re doing the exact opposite with our daughter. I want her to be able to come to me when she needs something and I want her to know that she’s loved and feel like she’s able to explore her own growth and development as an individual.
Dela: Listening. My children sometimes have arguments and they come to me to be referee. If they pick a bad time and I’m busy I don’t listen to everything they say and I get It wrong. I feel awful and have to apologize. Learning to be patient and listen is really important.
Poovanesh: Learn the art of active listening. Make time to really connect with your kids by allowing them to choose and organize outings (within reason of course). Learn also how to unparent so you can just enjoy your time with kids without having to correct them.
3 Spending time
Melanie: Be in the moment. Not on your devices. Your kids need to see your face and hear your voice talking to them, not someone else on the phone. This makes a big difference. I watch my little preschoolers be picked up from school when their moms are on the phone, and they are visibly disappointed. Same goes when I pick up own middle schooler! Watch other people’s kids, and you can see it too.
Make time for your own friends, and keep the date. Make a date night once a month with your husband or partner. You children need to see how important people are, and to see you looking after you too.
Spend time together as a family over dinner, or breakfast. Make time for each other.
4 Demonstrate love and compassion
Leisha: Showing your children what love looks like. Love between the parents (even if not together), love between you and your children, even loving total strangers. You can say I love you a million times, but if they never see how love should look they will have a hard time knowing how to have healthy relationships when they’re older. Showing them to be compassionate loving people to everyone will get them further in life than teaching them to have their guards up.
Janine: Teach them how to be good, loving friends with their siblings, cousins and peers. Role model it for them.
5 Be intentional
Marit : Be intentional as a parent. Spend time deciding what values, character traits, skills, and experiences you want your child to have before they are an adult, and developing a family culture that reinforces all of it. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going as a family, how are you going to know when you get there?
Hold family meetings, even if they are just casual over the dinner table, discuss your goals and successes with the whole family. Celebrate together.
6 Be Consistent
Children need to know what is expected of them, and for a parent to follow through EVERY time. With both rewards and consequences.
7 Conflict resolution
Anna : Conflict resolution skills are so important. Your kids will learn what they see, so having effective conflict management skills will benefit both you (because you’ll be more adept at resolving conflicts) and your kids (because they’ll learn those skills just by observing you). As an added bonus, it’s a great skill for outside of parenting as well, and can be beneficial in so many different circumstances. What a great gift to give your offspring!
8 Develop routines
Amy I’m a firm believer in scheduling. I’ve found that my kids do significantly better when they have routines and schedules to follow. This is particularly true of sleeping and eating. When my kids get enough sleep they always behave better. On the other hand I don’t believe in over scheduling. Kids also need free time to just be kids. It is a difficult balance but so good for kids when you succeed.
9 Responsibility and work ethic
By demonstration, show your kids how to turn up, and work hard. Show them the reward of hard work, and of a job well done. Teach them to be responsible for their own things and attitudes. Give them a pet, or a plant, or even a small garden. Give them chores and don’t pay them for completing them, there are things you just gotta do in life, and household chores is one of them.
10 Realistic expectations
Kayla: Realizing that the only reason we get frustrated is OUR expectation of how a child should act. We must remember they are learning still. And most tantrums or undesirable behavior is because a child can’t for some reason regulate. Are they tired, hungry, or do they need connection? Also ignoring inconsequential behavior and praising the good.
Christina: Understand what is developmentally appropriate for your child and adjust your expectations of their behavior around that. Many parents, (including myself) can assume your young child knows better than to behave a certain way or they should be able to have better self regulation. But very often they are behaving in way that is developmentally appropriate. As parents, we need to realize what they are and are not capable of, which causes less stress for both the parent and child.
11 Embrace individuality
Crystal: Allow your children to be themselves. Our children are complete people, not an extension of ourselves. They each have their own personalities. You can’t treat them all the same. Encourage them to always do their personal best but do not compare them to their siblings or parents. One child maybe be a gifted artist while another may pick up math with ease. Both are accomplishments to be celebrated.
Patty: Let them set their own goals!
Avoid telling a child that they are dreaming, or that something will never happen. Who are you to say it cannot? Dream roles in life exist and someone is living that dream right now, why can’t your child be that person too? Rather than saying that it isn’t possible, ask the question “how can we make this happen?” This needs to be role modeled to children too, don’t let them hear you say “I can’t”, instead use the phrase, “I’m not sure how to make this happen yet, can you help me find a way?”
Carly: It’s so easy to be short with your kids, forgetting that they are just kids. Let them tie their own shoes, even if it takes an extra minute. Show them how to hold the pencil 129 times if that’s what it takes. Don’t drag them along like the place you’re headed is about to spontaneously combust if you don’t get there RIGHT NOW. We can live life a little slower, enjoy it a little more, and teach them to do the same.
James: Practice patience and emotional control in the face of a tantrum – talking and explaining rather than trying to shut it down…
13 Life skills
You cannot teach what you do not know! Patty has a great post on children’s chores here.
Linda: You have to teach them to eat their veggies!
Emily: Learn how to budget and save, then teach it to your children.
Don’t give your children pocket money for their sheer assistance, but don’t pay them for chores either. When they decide they need money (and they will) ask them to come up with a way of earning it. Then support them to do so.
Learn to cook. Really cook, from scratch. Then get your children involved from a young age. Once they are old enough, have them cook once a week.
Teach your children to change a tire, change the oil, mow the lawns and fix things around the house. Show them how to use the public transport system.
Good Parenting Skills that are worth Developing
What parenting skills are you working on at the moment. Have you found this list inspiring or challenging? What would you add to the list, or what do you wish your parents had taught you?